DOZENS of police officers have been suspended or put on restricted duties amid allegations including rape, stalking and sexual assault.
Details seen by The Scotsman show there are currently 13 officers suspended from the force while a range of alleged offences are investigated.
Dozens more are on restricted duties for data protection breaches and for crimes including sex and drug offences. Some have been on restricted duties for over two years while the claims are investigated.
One officer is currently suspended for allegations including assault, abduction and fireraising, while another faces claims that he criminally neglected his duties.
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Five constables are facing allegations of either rape or attempted rape.
Last week the Scottish Police Federation warned that a “perverse” approach to data protection at Police Scotland means that officers who consult old cases for guidance or offer assistance to other divisions can face criminal charges.
But details from the Scottish Police Authority show that while a number of officers are on restricted duties for such breaches, others face allegations including assault, theft, public indecency, domestic abuse and having inappropriate images on their computer. More than 140 officers are currently on restricted duties. They include a constable who is accused of stalking and domestic abuse, a sergeant accused of public indecency and an inspector charged with neglect of duty and discreditable conduct.
Others are accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice, drugs offences, assault and sending offensive or racist e-mails.
David Kennedy, conduct secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, a staff association for rank and file officers, said: “Many of these cases will be from when the officer was off-duty.
“In general, there are a lot more historical cases being looked at, quite rightly. They are being more robust and in-depth than they have been in the past.
“The only alternative to suspension is to put an officer on restricted duties – it means you are getting something for your money, rather than them sitting at home on full pay.”
Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson said: “Within Police Scotland there are currently 13 suspended officers which is a low number given the size of our organisation, but I recognise that where serious allegations are made against a police officer there will naturally be a level of public concern.
“Suspension is a tool of last resort and is only used where it is appropriate and justifiable. Complaints about the police and the conduct of officers and staff are closely scrutinised from a number of quarters, including the Scottish Police Authority.”